An integrated database of stream macroinvertebrate traits for Australia: concept and application

Ben J. Kefford, Paul K. Botwe, Andrew J. Brooks, Stefan Kunz, Richard Marchant, Sally Maxwell, Leon Metzeling, Ralf B. Schäfer, Ross M. Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


Traits provide key ecological information that can be applied to understanding the mechanisms which drive community assembly and persistence. In recent years, trait information has provided important insights into the responses of communities to stressors including pollutants and climatic extremes. Outside of Europe and North America, the use of stream macroinvertebrate traits has generally been hindered by the lack of a national database assigning traits to taxa. Here, we present an integrated database for Australian stream macroinvertebrates, which for the first time brings together data from multiple jurisdictions to facilitate the use of traits in both theoretical and applied studies. We describe the database and discuss its applications as well as challenges and limitations of this and other trait databases. The Australian trait database provides new opportunities for research and application in freshwater management.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106280
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalEcological Indicators
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2020


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